Dumb Witness

Dumb Witness "Emily Arundell writes to Hercule Poirot because she believes she has been the victim of attempted murder. However, before Poirot can consult her for the details, she dies. Poirot decides to investigate and he discovers evidence of a tripwire, which convinces him of attempted murder. This leads to doubts about the real cause of Emily Arundell’s subsequent death.Emily's maid-in-waiting Miss Lawson is the unexpected beneficiary of a substantial fortune, according to a very recent change of will. Under the previous will, Emily's nephew Charles Arundell and nieces Theresa Arundell and Bella Tanios would have inherited. This gives them all motive for murder, because it is unclear who knew of the changed will. Theresa Arundel is a strong suspect because Miss Lawson can recall seeing someone through her bedroom mirror at the top of the stairs on the night of Emily's accident. The person was wearing a brooch with the initials, ""TA"".Poirot discovers that Emily Arundell died of phosphorus poisoning, which had been administered in her liver pills. The nature of the murder suggests a doctor. Dr. Donaldson, Theresa's fiancé, has a good motive for the crime, as does Bella Tanios's husband, also a doctor. Dr Tanios seems the most likely murderer after Bella reveals her husband's violent temper and then flees with her children.However, Poirot confronts Bella with the truth that she is the murderer, not her husband. He explains that when Miss Lawson saw the initials ""TA"" in the mirror, she was seeing the initials ""AT"" backwards - and Bella's full name is Arabella Tanios. Bella realises she is caught and poisons herself.Respecting the original will, Miss Lawson voluntarily shares the estate with Emily's other relations, including Bella's children. The dog Bob becomes Hastings' new pet."

Authors: Agatha ChristiePages: 143     Year: 1937

Tags: agatha detective christie

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